Demonstrations and flight from the country: Russians react to Putin’s call-up

Citizen mobilization against partial mobilization. Thousands of people in dozens of Russian cities demonstrated Wednesday night against the call to the front by its president to 300,000 reservists.

More than 1,300 people were arrested mainly in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, but also in many other cities.

Some protesters like Mikhail summed up the current feeling of many Russians in a few words: “This mobilization is horrible. Putin has started this war. Most normal people do not support it, but they are afraid to protest because then they can be arrested.”

Indeed, the fear of the partial mobilization decreed this Wednesday by Vladimir Putin has led many citizens to leave the country as soon as possible. In the hours immediately following the president’s announcement, tickets to travel to countries where Russians do not need a visa, such as Armenia, increased significantly in price. Only the fastest were able to flee.

“I would not call it a panic,” said Sergey, a citizen who did manage to leave Russia. “We imagined a scenario like this. The tickets didn’t cost too much, since I was probably fast enough, and we got through the border with no problem: we just went through and flew.”

His son, Nikolay, explained: “I am 17 years old and I have not received a letter from the recruiting office yet, but I am studying at a distance, which can be discussed as cause of recruitment immunitySo we left.”

While waiting for a mass exodus of Russian citizens of fighting age, it remains to be seen what positions the different countries of the European Union take regarding a possible visa ban for tourists from this country. Being Russian, today, is not easy.

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